Youngblood Blog

Writing weblog, local, topical, personal, spiritual

Fast Radio Bursts—Writing & Communicating Beyond the Galaxy

FAST RADIO BURSTS—FRBs—WRITING & COMMUNICATING BEYOND the GALAXY
Monthly Astro IWSG Corner for Insecure Space Cadets

Mysterious signals are coming from a distant galaxy outside our own Milky Way—picked up by a new radio telescope in British Columbia.

Excited Astrophysicists meet Elated Astronomers
Among thirteen fast radio bursts—FRBs—came a strange, repeating signal from the same area of sky, approx. 1.5 billion light years distant.

Such an event was only recorded once before—by a different telescope.

Highly excited electrically-neutron star collision 1.5billion light years distant seen by new radio telescope

This second repeater, found among the first few CHIME-FRB discoveries, suggests that there exists—and that we and other wide-field sensitive radio telescopes will find—a substantial population of repeating FRBs out there sending on super-low frequencies
Nature, January 2019 CHIME/FRB Collaboration

More FRBs—bright, short-lived pulses of radio waves that come from across the universe—have been detected by astronomers. The bursts, which originate from a galaxy 1.5 billion light years from Earth, repeated 13 times, and then stopped.

This is only the second time that repeating fast radio bursts have ever been recorded. The first was almost immediately after *CHIME’s launch last year—August 2018. Considering Earth hasn’t had the technology to scan such intra-galactic distances until very recently—2018’s FRBs were an answer to a—cosmological—prayer.

Astrophysicists from London, Berlin and Harvard-Smithsonian joined radio-astronomers from Puerto Rico’s Arecibo to B.C.’s Okanagan Valley in an excited discussion of its source.

CHIME-Fast Radio Burst Collaboration’s radio dish telescope array in Brit.Columbia

The team searching for FRBs published their discovery over a three-week period last summer during the recording of 13 repeat flashes—using the new radio telescope. Nature, British pinnacle of scientific investigation, offers a preview of the CHIME/FRB collaboration as a courtesy to the scientific community.

For only the second time ever—spanning more than sixty FRBs recorded to date, one of those FRBs was detected repeating.

It came from the same region of intergalactic space as the Arecibo signal. But it was only 1.5billion light years away. Arecibo’s repeater originated more than 3billion light years distant—with radio waves as low as 400-580megaHz—lowest ever recorded.

Speculation among the astro community ranges from dying neutron star flare, to Electric Universe theory to colliding supernovae, exploding White or Red Dwarfs, even intertwining galaxies. Harvard professors Loeb and Lingam have decided repeaters could be ‘leakage from planet-size Alien computers’.
*CHIME=Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment

Sacred Geometry in Intensifying Alien Signals
Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico was previously the only observatory where repeating bursts had been recorded—in 2015. FRBs were first detected by chance in 2007, when a burst was spotted in radio astronomy data that had been collected as early as 2001. Frequency was usually in 1800MHz range. The new radio frequency—below 400MHz—is the lowest ever recorded. “It is likely that many more FRBs with even lower radio frequencies often travel past our planet. Now our technical know-how may be up to the task of ‘hearing’ such a low range,” said Professor Loeb.

Milky Way galaxy colliding with Andromeda—’blooming’ on edges—FRBs where worlds collide

What is most surprising is that all geometries give diatonic—musical—ratios. Before us, only the Egyptians linked geometric theory with music. They called geometry frozen music.
Gerald S. Hawkins PhD
Author Stonehenge Decoded;
Beyond Stonehenge, decoder of Alien CC text

Harvard-Smithsonian has traditionally led ‘alternative’ Science since 1963, when Gerald Hawkins formulated his solar & lunar eclipse cycles for Stonehenge on its first IBM computer. A radio astronomer himself, studying under Sir Bernard Lovell, he transformed our understanding of crop circle messages before he died in 2003. He and his team of crop circle decoders—Paul Vigay among them—captured essence of the remarkable 1991 Milk Hill alien crop message—noting that it reads exactly the same backwards as forwards.

Our cultural leaders may need to inject a new mindset into investment in the Space Race if our alien brothers and sisters have started lending a hand.

We are indeed on a course of ‘Quickening’ with Andromeda.

For us Insecure writers and our Space Cap’n Alex—even more so than astrophysicists—the entry gate is narrow.
But it is a Stargate, after all.

New moon cycle brings Chinese Year of the Pig this week. Double Aquarius guides us in the direction we need to go.
It’s onward-skyward from here.
©2019 Marian Youngblood

February 6, 2019 Posted by | astronomy, authors, belief, blogging, culture, fiction, publishing, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Future is Crystal –reworking a WIP

Celestial motif at Honey Street, crop circle formation of June 26, 2011, photo Gordon Burns

When the Crop Circle season really gets going, as it did last week in mid-June this year, their mesmerizing patterns seem to reach out and grab hold of human imagination. And, if you’re a croppie they don’t let go until you’re thoroughly immersed in the ethos of their messages and their beautiful craftsmanship in the corn.

I am hooked every year: I go through the unbeliever stage in early April, when it’s a question of ‘will they–won’t they appear?’ and then when midsummer comes [this year, 2011, the main season was unimaginably late and huge doubt attended any crop appearance], I’m a convert all over again.

In winter the mind wanders to what seasonal miracles appeared and what might have been.

I wrote a whole crop circle-cum-crystal novel for a writing contest in the month of January 2010 and have yet to polish and rework, re-edit and improve it for final submission. So, it is still a work-in-progress, my current WIP. But, because we’re in mid-crop circle season right now, I am daring to share just a taste of its flavor: hope you enjoy. This is one of the middle chapters for
THE FUTURE IS CRYSTAL.

THE FUTURE IS CRYSTAL by Marian Youngblood Chapter TWENTY–ONE
Just as Mark said it would, the trail led towards the main section: the astrolabe, he called it. On the ground you couldn’t tell, but Megan had overheard Colin and Mark discussing over Mark’s laptop, the intricate way the crop circle had been laid out, complete with its new tail formation that had happened in a flash of light last night. The whole thing was beyond amazing. This time the light orbs, the crop circle creators or whatever you wanted to call them, had done something truly out of this world. And, even more miraculous, Mark had managed to capture them on film with his special Kirlian camera.
Even more miraculous, Megan had managed to get some real cool footage on her own camera. It was just a regular state-of-the-art video, but when Colin persuaded Mark to upload the results, she was thrilled to see she had actually got light orbs on screen. How cool was that.

Astrolabe crop circle from solstice, June 21st, 2009, 'phase one' at Alton Barnes

Now they followed Colin along the curved line through the ‘orbit’ he’d chanced upon first off: looked like Jupiter at the central axis, he said, but each orbit had smaller shadows leading to the largest planetary body. If they followed the Jupiter orbit all the way round they’d reach the astrolabe. From the main stem, they could see it all laid out, straight down the field into the distance — at least four football pitches — down the central axis of the tail.
 He led them carefully along the single file path, moving from the smallest circle to one slightly larger, then larger then larger as they progressed along the orbital arm.
Megan followed close behind with the others trailing a little. She paced slowly past neatly-folded wheat stalks lying exactly parallel one with the other as if a medieval monk had come and gently laid each bundle of stems in neat rows like a rush mat leading to a temple. Colin heard Megan’s breathing –- gentle and rhythmical -– measure for measure placing her footsteps where he put his. Neither of them wanted to disturb the pattern, lying so lovingly in a prearranged layout, willing them on through a series of ever larger ‘moons’ to where the orbits connected to the central solar system axis. From there, Colin was determined, from what he’d seen on Mark’s screen, that the pattern opened out and they would find a space to set down all their equipment and really get a feel for the place.

Alton Barnes Astrolabe crop circle 2009 'second phase', June 22nd

There was definitely a sensation in the air and it wasn’t only his sensing like a dowser: he could feel it: a tangible electrical charge.

‘These stems are bent at the node ever so gently, but the stem isn’t bruised or broken in any way. It’s amazing.’ Megan was right behind him.

‘I know; I was noticing that. It’s so carefully contrived.’
Colin couldn’t help himself. He was quick to launch into the scientific explanation, given any excuse. He continued to pace slowly forward, but spoke quietly over his shoulder to her.
‘You know, It’s been scientifically documented that soil samples taken from inside crop circles show changes in crystalline structure and mineral composition. Expert analysis concludes that heat of 1500ºC would be needed to create such a change.’ Megan gasped, but kept her feet on the path in front of her.

‘So the orbs we saw last night were capable of that kind of heat?’

‘Seems so.’

‘Unbelievable.’ They both continued pacing, aware that the other two were gradually catching up with them.
Mark gave a hoot, like a bird. He too must have noticed the bent nodes on the unbruised plants.

‘There’s a big one up ahead,’ Colin called out, knowing Megan was so close behind him she probably couldn’t see, but to give the others a brief guide. Even though these new generation wheat crops were agriculturally developed to grow roughly no higher than knee height, it was still pretty difficult to get any kind of vista; Colin could see a widening area, with a lot of tufted decorative clumps surrounding it like cherries on a Christmas cake. It had to be the joining of phases one and two and the start of phase three.
He decided to continue his little lecture, since Megan was probably new to the whole thing and might be interested. He’d always been quick to spot a new convert.

‘Did you know crop circles also show evidence of ultrasound? you know, the kind of frequencies that are known to hover at ancient sites like Avebury, stone circles and such like?’

‘No, I didn’t.’ She sounded interested. So he went on.

‘And like all ancient sacred sites, crop circles appear at the intersecting points of the Earth’s magnetic pathways of energy; the nodes. Therefore the size and shape of a crop circle is typically determined by the area and position of these node points at the time of their appearance.’

‘Sorry, you lost me there. I don’t quite get that. Say again.’

‘Well, this electric and magnetic energy, it’s quite common here round Avebury. The whole of Wiltshire, in fact; the Salisbury plain…’

‘Yes, I know about Stonehenge.’ She was still following devotedly, both his argument and his footsteps. He liked that.

‘Thing is, it usually happens in chalk; not so common elsewhere. There are areas where they have similar electromagnetism, parts of Oxfordshire have deep underground waterways, aquifers — and Northumbria. Northeast Scotland is pretty heavily imbued with it. But there the aquifers are in granite. It’s something they think may even have protected the ancient sites -– here especially -– from being broken up; something about it that can interact with human brainwave patterns, and because the human body is itself electromagnetic, crop circles are known to affect people’s biorhythms. Consequently, it’s not unusual for people to experience heightened states of awareness and spontaneous healings in crop circles –- a situation also common to sacred sites and holy places. That effect alone could have protected them from desecration.’

‘That’s interesting.’


Milk Hill, Alton Barnes crop circle phase three (end June, 2009), the 'tail' of the astrolabe, photo Lucy Pringle

‘So, you’ve noticed?’

‘Yes. For instance, back there, in that first little circle, I didn’t want to leave.’

‘I have to say you’re not alone in this. It’s been talked about a lot in recent years. The crowd that gathers at crop circles is usually very placid, peaceful. No rowdy demonstrations like a street crowd after a football match.’ He thought that was a pretty good analogy.

‘I wouldn’t expect that anyway. Must attract a different group, these formations.’

‘Yes.’
‘
So what were you saying about ultrasound? I thought lights were making the circles. Are you saying both sound and light?’

‘There’s no evidence to suggest…’ he stopped and looked back at her. ‘…until what your camera picked up last night. Now we’ll have to start all over.’ He laughed.

‘Well, what about the scientific evidence? You said…’

‘Yes. scientifically speaking, the plants are subjected to a short and intense burst of heat which softens the stems to bend 90º at the plant node just above the ground. They seem to re-harden into their new position without damage. They keep on growing. Research and lab tests suggest that ultrasound is capable of producing that kind of effect.’

‘But short bursts of intense LIGHT could do it, too, right?’

‘Well, with what you just provided the scientific establishment –- I mean, your great video footage -– might send them all back to the drawing board.’ He looked over his shoulder and gave her a congratulatory smile.

‘Wow. I like that. But it doesn’t explain how some of the crop lies in one direction and right next to it there it is lying at right angles; sometimes you get four different directions going in one space.’

‘True. I don’t know how they DO it. I just know that the process has been isolated to make it possible.’

‘Ah. So you don’t really know either. We’re all still guessing when it comes to the magical quality and the designs they come up with, right?’

‘Right.’ Colin thought he’d need a whole lot more time back at the drawing board to convince this new audience. He changed the subject. ‘Clearing coming up.’

‘OK.’ Megan glanced back. The other two had caught up and were right behind her. ‘Could you see anything as you came along? I’ve been a little in the shadow of the expert, here. Dogging his footsteps.’ She burst out laughing and Jane joined in.

‘Yes. He CAN get to be a little pedantic.’ Colin did not react. He’d apparently heard it all before. He stepped into the new space, stopped and laid his bags down gently on the matted ground.
The others joined him and paused to survey their new surroundings.

The vista was breathtaking. It did have a magical feel and it spread out in a swirling pattern that looked phenomenal. Like all the smaller circles, growing in size as they progressed round the curve, as well as the padded path by which they entered, the whole quadrant they stood in was matted at a level less than an inch above the ground and folded criss–cross over and back like a woven blanket. Only where the pattern reached the circle’s central point, did the direction and flow of the lay change, going the opposite way.
They were standing in an ellipse, rather than a pure circle; more the shape of a facial oval. There were four quadrants each with a separate directional lay. This gave the pattern a three – dimensional effect, foreshortening the optical distance, so the far edge of the ellipse seemed closer that it actually was. From their perspective, the complete formation must have stretched as much as thirty feet across and forty feet from side to side. They’d come in on a lateral arm of what appeared to be a graphical rendition of the sun, round which the planets with their little moons –- the spaces they’d walked through were Jupiter’s moons –- clung on one arm.
‘See how those two sides are like an ellipse stretched into points of a compass. Two points: left and straight across, forming a geometric outline. That leads to the sextant instrument, I’m sure of it. It’s acting like a compass needle for the astrolabe itself.’ The other three were silent, in awe of the formation. They let Colin speak. A third arm, to their right didn’t actually project, but led the eye all the way down the field, stretching to where they had parked the car. It had to be fully 800 feet long. 
Mark immediately dug out the laptop from his bag and dropped everything else on the ground.

‘I want to see how it compares: now that we have a kind of aerial shot, thanks to Megan and her camera last night, we can see exactly how it connects from here. The ground falls away from us to where the car is parked. Can you see?’ He pointed to nobody in particular. He was joined immediately by the two girls.
Colin started setting up his dowsing rods next to where he’d dropped his baggage on the forgiving wheat. He turned to Jane, who was starting to gesture if she should help.

‘No, you go ahead. It’s a great video. You should really see what it’s like, so you get an idea of our position here -– makes sense. Super idea, Mark.’ He left them in full chatter, and got back to hooking up his equipment.
Mark was already revving up. He had a rapt audience. He started pointing and gesticulating, fully absorbed.


Immaculate central 'lay' of the June 18th 2011 formation at Cow Drove Hill, Kings Somborne, Hampshire

‘See. We’re in the oval here, sort of the ‘face’ of the Sun and from here the full extent of all three phases are visible: not as brilliantly as Megan’s shots, but…’ He keyed up the passage in the footage where the final tail was completely formed, connecting the other two phases, but before it started standing on its tail like a 3D mirage. ‘Now, watch this.’ He went back a couple of minutes to where the orbs were actually forming the tail with its elusive coded symbols.
‘See how they do it? You’ve got the pattern with its teardrop-shaped center – that’s us here… then there’s the configuration of four connected circles on one side and five more circles of increasing diameters on arcs tethered back to the teardrop center. This is the one we came in on. That’s the bit these light guys’ buddies made last week. Phase one the astrolabe; phase two the planets in orbital arcs. The orbits, the little moons we walked through -– they’re just that bit more complex than the first. They happened overnight, too. Then five days later Megan and I get to see a third addition. And see…’ He traced with his finger on the screen the path the orbs had made. ‘See how they just etch and move, etch another line and move. It appears in seconds.’

‘Awesome.’ Both girls spoke together.
‘Kinda like Maya symbols or something from the early Mid–East –- scripts: you know, cuneiform.’

‘Wow. You’re right, Megan. Hear that, Colin? Megan says like Sumerian cuneiform or Egyptian hieratic. It is, you know.’

‘Problem is deciphering.’ Colin didn’t raise his head. He was preoccupied with his rods.

‘Has to be over eight hundred feet in length from the tip of that compass point back there to the other end of the tail, don’t you think, Colin?’

‘Yeah, one thousand feet, easily.’ He was still fixing rods together.
Megan had perceived something else. She was also pointing first to the laptop screen and then out into space over the field.

‘Each of the tail lines of code or whatever they are come up and attach to the ends of each orbit arc. Do you see that, Jane? sort of like a balance like the way you hold your crystal when you’re dowsing.’
Jane peered over her shoulder with a knowing look and then out at the field.

‘You’re right. The damn thing is telling us dowsing code. Did you get that, Colin?’ she called.

But this time Colin was up and away, totally engrossed in his own world, following his rods where they led him, outward from the middle of the ellipse toward a point where the solar system took off into the imaginary world of dreams: the tale of tails, the stuff of fantasy.

‘I think you’re right there, Megan. Better get my crystals into action.’ And Jane dug her quartz out of her pocket and held it up in front of her face.
The pale transparent beauty hung completely motionless for a moment, dangling in sympathy with the still air and glinting in the sunshine at the end of its slender thread. Then, as they watched, imperceptibly at first and then with more momentum, it began a clockwise spin.

Mark went back to studying the laptop images, but Megan couldn’t. She was completely mesmerized by the gleaming orb.
@2010-2011 Marian Youngblood ‘The Future is Crystal’

Three 2011 crop circles cluster round Honey Street: Barge Inn at upper left with orb #1CC left; centre #2 Knave of Swords, July 4th; upper right #3 cuneiform script, also July 4th, photo Olivier Morel

Interestingly, in 2011, when the season started to get busy — from summer solstice on — a series of ‘orb/orbit’ crop circle images have appeared — at Kings Somborne, Hampshire and near the Barge Inn at Honey Street, Wiltshire. The Barge Inn is famous for its ‘croppie’ clientele and, without fail, the fields in its vicinity get adorned every year at this time. Last year it was the 08/08 Honey Street fractal; this year there have already been three formations: two on July 4th and the spinning space object (photo, top, June 26th, 2011).

There has been much speculation and discussion about incoming intruders from space. Least of these was the June 27th Antarctic special, a non-starter, asteroid 2011-MD, so-called asteroid-doc, which passed earth at 1700UT with 7000 miles to spare. Others include varying reports on the threat posed by comet 2010-X1 Elenin, expected to cross Earth orbit in September. All seem to feature in the rash of orbiting bodies pictured in the 2011 crop circles.

This year’s season, having started late, may still surprise us. If you like, you can take this excerpt of my novel, The Future is Crystal, as a little taster of croppie things to come.
©2011Marian Youngblood

July 4th Honey Street Crop formation #3 points North (rt): 'Milk Hill' script, cuneiform or alien code?


postscriptum: when I posted the above ‘flash fiction’ excerpt from one of my chapters, I wasn’t expecting corroboration… but the Honey Street #3 crop circle which appeared a.m. July 4th is indeed a version of cuneiform [like 1991 Milk Hill coded script] mentioned in my text. Woo-hoo! MY

June 27, 2011 Posted by | authors, crop circles, crystalline, energy, fiction, novel, publishing, sacred sites, stone circles, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2011 Crop Circle season: Royal Fever or Beltane Ghosts?

Bosschenhoofd, Netherlands, Easter Sunday 2011

The English crop circle season still shows no authentic signs! But there were two appearances over Easter: one in the Netherlands and one in Wales.

Last year, 2010, spring in Britain was ‘late’, as it followed the previous winter’s heavy freeze; so the first crop circle to emerge did not occur in the month of April, but on May 5th (Old Beltane), in alignment with an ancient sacred stronghold (and site of the first Salisbury cathedral) at Old Sarum. Its appearance was eagerly awaited by the crop circle community because the earliest farming crop to start into flower –oil seed rape, canola– was only just out of the ‘green’ stage. Previous years had brought early ripening and, by comparison, the 2010 season had a lot to make up for.

So, it seems, does the summer of 2011. A repeat winter freeze, (human) standstill and a gradual earth-warm-up and then, bam, an April ‘heatwave’. Easter Sunday, April 24th, was the warmest April day in Britain since 1949: the month of April the warmest since records began 100 years ago. Last week, the British geared up for the Royal Wedding and the weather was playing along nicely. So, it might seem, is the sense of humour of the crop circlemakers: Prince William (Wales and Windsor) married on Friday, while one week previously, on Good Friday, the first canola circle appeared in South Wales.

Canola is a plant of the brassica family which often signals the start of the crop circle season, because in Britain nothing else (barley, wheat, maize) is anywhere near its ripening stage at the end of April.

There have been exceptions. Unusually, in 2010 a Somerset bean crop was used on June 7th at Stony Littleton longbarrow near Bath to showcase the double spiral of a traditional clock mechanism, as if perhaps to highlight the concept –or urgency– of time.

Gwent Good Friday crop circle, Severn Bridge, Chepstow, photo courtesy Olivier Morel

Then, lo and behold, the first Dutch formation –on Easter Sunday morning– at Bosschenhoofd, 22 miles South of Rotterdam, appeared in grass.

April dates that heralded the start of a British season in three previous years had already passed–April 15, 19 and 17 for years 2007, 2008 and 2009 respectively. The weather in England has been heating up fast, however, so it was a relief when the first crop circle of this season appeared over the Easter weekend –not in Wiltshire amid the sacred landscape of ancient Saxon heritage– but in an even older landscape with genuine Brittonic origins: Gwent, where this most ancient race has left evidence of human settlement since Mesolithic times.

Coincidentally–the Circlemakers are great on synchronicity–the tight little formation appeared at Innage farm near Chepstow, a stone’s throw across the Severn Bridge from the Oldbury nuclear power plant which featured in a crop image last July and which (with less publicity) vented radioactive steam one month ago, frightening already anxious residents on both sides of the river. Public concern was quelled by nuclear authority spokesmen after locals were understandably alarmed at the announcement of new ‘works’ planned for the nuclear facility, despite the awful and uncontrollable meltdown continuing in Fukushima, Japan after last month’s earthquake and tsunami.

The new Welsh design, in a field of oil seed rape, lies only seven miles southwest of the spectre of last season’s remarkable formation –the July 18th ‘quake-vibration’ crop circle at Woolaston Grange, Gloucestershire. While lying on the same (Welsh) side of the Severn, the 2010 ‘ghost’ technically lies in England, but it also faces diagonally across the river to the nuclear plant. Between the two lies the ancient stronghold of Caes-Gwent, ‘castle of Gwent’, modern Chepstow.

Roman 'Venta', rebuilt in 1069, Castle Gwent-over-Wye is the oldest extant stone building in Britain

In an historical context, Chepstow’s Welsh name, Caes Gwent, castle of Venta, Roman ‘market place’, shows how ancient are its roots and how significant is its position on the confluence of the river Wye (over which the 11thC Castle of Gwent still towers) with the Severn –that great tidal estuary which eventually flows into the Bristol Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. This is the southern heartland of the ancient (pre-Celtic) Brythonic kingdom, where ancient Britons spoke a dialect understood by other Britons of Prydein –Roman Britannia. Their language was understood over the water-bridge in Brittany, throughout Cornwall, Isle of Man, Rheged (ancient Cumbria), Dumbarton and Strathclyde (Dun-Britton), Brigantia (Yorkshire and Northumberland) and northern Pictland (Prydein). Their ancient monuments, aligned with the movements of the heavens and dedicated to their ancestral dead, were generations older than Stonehenge. Avebury’s great circle is their nearest relative in design and in time.

Once again, bang on time, the crop circle phenomenon has drawn to our attention an ancient landscape–full of sacred detail and priceless earthbound wisdom– almost totally forgotten in the 21st century.

But the Circlemakers display yet more layers to enlighten us.

Four-petal lotus of the root/base chakra in the Gwent crop circle, 23rd April 2011

Another coincidence can be seen in the Chepstow design’s similarity to the four-petalled lotus of the Muladhara, the red-hued base chakra design which kicked off the 2011 January season in Sleman, Yogyakarta, Java. At that time, a statement from the Sultanate warned the Javanese–the world’s most populous Muslim country, already steeped in shared knowledge of kundalini and the significance of chakras in the energy body, borrowed from Hindu belief–that the appearance of the ‘base chakra’ presaged

“Nature’s selections (i.e. acts of God) in this country shortly”
HRH Prince Karyonagoro (Kandjeng Pangeran) January 2011.

In Vedic Kundalini the red base chakra is the lowest, most physically-driven, of the body’s energy centres. In recent years many crop circles and spiritual groups have been emphasizing the need for us, the human race, to rise above physicality and elevate ourselves at least through the second and third to the level of the (green) fourth heart-chakra, in order to prepare ourselves for our anticipated move –along with the planet Earth– into fifth-dimensional reality, nirvana, a permanent state of bliss or Ascension.

With the exception of the ‘message’ Crop designs at Crabwood Farm August 2002, Circlemakers do not usually leave us specific directions. They use hints, fractals, energy mosaics, pointers and clues to a mystery which we –in wracking our braincells and stirring up our DNA– seem to delight in trying to solve.

Gwent seems to be hinting…

It is interesting to note that the combination Muslim-Hindu population of Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland) has doubled in ten years, from 1.5million in 2001 to around 3 million in 2011; and outside of Leicester and Harrow, the predominant residential city-satellites for Hindu and Muslim peoples with Indian subcontinent roots (within commuting distance of London on M4 and M48) include Cardiff and Chepstow-on-Wye.

As the Circlemakers are known for their sense of humour, they might just be saying that we, the people of the British Isles, despite introduced Vedic wisdom and several seasons of implicit teachings and clues from crop circle mentors, are–in consciousness–still psychically hanging out around our own base chakra, i.e. our heads are still up our kundalini tail.

Judging by recent seasons, May 1st (Beltane) appears to be the seasonal cut-off date. Beltane means earth festival bigtime for the Circlemakers. Buddhist Wesak celebrates the Buddha’s birth on the first full moon of the Taurus cycle (this year May 17th). But May also means the Baal fire ritual of the Ancients. Once again we are being reminded (implicitly) how our ancient Brittonic ancestors valued –nay, worshipped– the sacred return of Light in the full blossoming of May Day, Beltane, with the Earth’s rise in fertility, the blossoming of trees and flowers, the Earth Mother’s return to full growth and potency. Beltane was more than just a fire festival at 15ºTaurus, the mid-point of the growth season; it was a celebration of renewal and a belief for all Mankind that the Earth was capable once again of overcoming death, dying, winter, moving through budding of new growth into full-blown summer and supreme joy of life.

It is this ancient practice, once a sacred belief system held by our pre-Christian Brittonic ancestors–kept alive in some Druidic and Wiccan traditions so often ridiculed by modern skeptics–that the crop circles seek to remind us: Life is not dead. We and the Earth are alive.

Eight/Infinity crop circle with central lovers-knot, Milk Hill 08-08-08

Looking back, it is easy to spot this recurring theme. The decade of the 1990s had marked a gradual trend towards an earlier start to the season in April; remarkably, 1999 began on April 3rd! But by contrast, the first half of the ‘noughties was marked by late beginnings–mid-May (2001, 2005), even early June (2002, 2003, 2004 & 2006). 2009 began on time (first crop circle on The Ridgway near Avebury/West Overton on April 17th. In 2008, April 19th marked the beginning with a six-armed spiral at Waden Hill, Avebury. It was also the year of the bee (at Honey Street, no less) on July 27th; the first year crop circles were confirmed in the USA and Brazil; and, with synchronicity we are coming to expect, the famous ‘Eight’/Infinity formation which on 08-08-08 graced Milk Hill, Alton Barnes.

Milk Hill June 2009 crop circle overlay on 08-08-08 ghost

Circles arrived even earlier in 2007, with the Oliver’s Castle seven-arcs on April 15th. 2007 was famous for its ‘Om’ design of 07-07-07–at East Field. This remarkable formation began a trend in croppie thinking of assigning special meaning to specific numerical sequences: a simple form of numerology or gematria. That said, 2006 was a disappointment to many who waited until 21st May for the first sign in East Sussex. According to crop-prophet Freddy Silva, that year was atypical because it was jinxed by a high number of ‘hoax’ cropcircles. By contrast, it was famous for its first-time 3D-special effects formations. They have been entrancing us ever since.

The Measure of a Man and of an Angel will be the same in the New Jerusalem
Revelation of John 21: 17

Wayland's Smithy '12 Towers' crop circle, reminiscent of the blades of a combine harvester, arrived 08-07-06, photo courtesy Steve Alexander

The world’s first 3D design at Wayland’s Smithy, Oxfordshire, left, –combination skyscraper-overhead, 12-towers and Florence Nightingale’s Rose Diagram–appeared July 8th 2006: 06-07-08. Its proximity to Wayland’s Smithy neolithic burial chamber is not accidental, as it implies a connection between the ancient Saxon god of metalworking and the future of the human race being forged now. The British–as mythologist Barbara Clow has stated bluntly–are not exactly known for their knowledge of their own sacred beginnings. She implies (the reality of) America as a God-fearing race; while the British have no tolerance for the sacred. Many of the most emphatic crop markings of recent years have emphasized this lack of sensitivity to our ancient wisdom and essence of the sacred. Designs have increasingly been sited in close proximity to primeval sacred sites or places of ancient wisdom whose meaning and context have, in general, been studiously ignored.

The Twelve Towers, as the Waylands formation became known, has been likened by crop circle veteran Joseph Mason to the final reckoning of the New Jerusalem in the Revelation of John: Jerusalem was said to measure 12×12=144 cubits, a sacred number meaning ‘Light’, often represented by the cube. His exposition is worth reading for its incisive content and extreme intuition. Wayland’s inate spiraling form has reappeared many times since that year, as a kind of reminder of its End-of-Days message. One also sees in it the ‘Rose Diagram’ of Florence Nightingale–the first time a woman effectively cured an epidemic by alerting the medical community (and the world) to iatrogenic deaths in foul hospital conditions in the Crimea. She made her presentation via a diagram her superiors could visualize, and her visual method changed the way humanity looked at health. In that sense the crop circle message may be our own health warning, an alert that our world may now be in imminent danger, as a result of our own pollution of earth’s fragile systems.

2006 may have been an odd year — no crop circle 06-06-06; a short season that ended abruptly on August 14th. But it did deliver some amazing pieces of inter-dimensional wonder. And from that year onwards, the world croppie audience began sitting up and paying attention.

Seasons come and go and we are learning to expect bigger and more explicit messages. What surfaces above all is the sense of wonder they impart, to thousands who have never actually sat in one or experienced the sense of ‘community’ they intuitively bring to the fields. Many have only seen them from above: the photographic message, shared so willingly and selflessly by dedicated crop circle pilots and photographers and website volunteers. In a gentle, unobtrusive way, it seems that the symbols in the fields are encouraging us to reconnect with our own sense of community–and our own sacred selves.


Vibration and Frequency and Form

All matter is in essence a group of particles vibrating at a common frequency, (a current scientific theory) and it is understandable that we human beings, made up of particles vibrating at a certain frequency, are affected by other vibrating particles–positive or negative–depending on the interaction.

This is inkeeping with current spiritual group ethos: raise your vibration to create your own mastery. The idea resonates well with the crop circles. Some see them as ‘temporary temples‘ for a modern age that has lost its sense of the Sacred. As huge, geometric temples, they seem to inspire our psyche towards wonder, a higher sense of reality and awareness. It is documented that many people feel compelled to enter formations in the fields from quite a distance away, and afterwards describe feelings of peace and wellbeing while inside the ‘sacred’ space. Many attest to lives profoundly changed in some capacity–psychologically or spiritually– by the experience.

Savernake forest 'wormholes', July 6th, 2006, photo courtesy Steve Alexander

Over the years it has become commonplace for circle visitors to experience an energetic ‘flow’ within its precinct. Video cameras malfunction, batteries suddenly go dead, compasses fluctuate wildly. The electromagnetic field which circles produce has been likened by some dowsers, empaths and sensitives to the static they feel inside the oldest stone circles. Again, it seems synchronistic that the crop circles and the stone circles of Wiltshire and North Britain share a mystical connection in location, effect on ground water and subsoil. Samples taken for scientific analysis by non-profit agencies such as BLT Research confirm this. In 1980 the Dragon Project measured a miraculous surge of radiation within the precinct of Rollright Stones, Oxon at the moment of sunrise. Stonehenge visitors (for midsummer sunrise) confirm similar rises in energy. Both these stone circles are reasonably complete in construction. By contrast, dowsers who have visited ‘restored’ stone circles –a notorious one in Aberdeenshire at Strichen–experience sickness and have to leave because of the disruptive energy fields created by misaligned or substituted stones of the ‘wrong’ geological composition. It seems our Neolithic ancestors had a sense of ‘knowing’ where to place stone circles on the earth’s electromagnetic nodes–and within widely electrically-conductive aquifers of chalk or limestone– it worked like a dream.

In the magical situation created by an overnight crop sensation arriving via light, heat and sound in a ripening field, the essence of electromagnetic currents seem to be retained by the very bounds of the design’s circumference. According to BLT’s research, only gradually over a period of days–probably with traffic generated by visitors along paths leading in and out–does the energy level dissipate. There are some field formations where the energy appears so potent that its influence lingers not only through the winter after harvest, but, remarkably, for several subsequent seasons.

… as a ghostly reminder of what once was…
These are the famous crop circle ‘ghosts’.

Silbury Hill 2010: crop spectre of 2009 'Beetle' ghost

It was standard archaeological procedure throughout the 19th and 20th centuries to try to examine (from the air, via balloon and subsequently from helicopter or light plane) any area of ‘archaeological significance’ where it was suspected there might have been structures on or below ground which had been ‘lost’ in modern development, carelessness or just plain ignorance. In the (hot) summers of 1949, 1976 and 1996 major advances were made and documentary evidence added to British archives of ancient sites where structures showed up in the dry landscapes of a few arid summer months as ‘cropmarks’. Little did the archaeologists know then that something similar would become the focus of world attention in the second decade of the next millennium which would give an altogether different meaning to the expression ‘crop formation’. It is this ephemeral ‘ghost’ –an appearance within the soil itself after all vestigial reality of structure or form has been removed– which the crop circles have in common with some neolithic (and mesolithic) structures. The vibration of the form itself creates a lingering impression in the earth which –under certain conditions– can be witnessed once more. The spectre of the form lives again.

It is not just their physical form which has a remarkable effect on the humans attracted to enter crop circles. Their ghosts do as well. And, seen from the air –as we are now treated to, courtesy of the generosity of volunteers like Olivier Morel, above– crop circles are making their mark on the civilized world.

It may still be considered an ‘alternative’ world, a ‘loopy fringe’ by some, but even the media is coming around to the idea that the human race is jointly heading for some kind of quantum leap –either this year or next.

We are being treated to something in accelerated time: a reminder by Spirit of the Sacred which many of us seem to have forgotten. It is something quite wonderful, infinitely fulfilling and much needed, in order to bring our lives back into some kind of perspective. Because it is a little beyond our grasp, there is a thrill associated with this achievement. And it is well overdue.
©2011 Marian Youngblood

April 28, 2011 Posted by | Ascension, astronomy, crop circles, culture, popular, Prehistory, sacred geometry, sacred sites, seasonal | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Crop Circles and Ancient Lammastide

CROP CIRCLES AND ANCIENT LAMMASTIDE
A Crop Circle Reverie Ten Years On…

Overhead 360º view from within the simple swirled crop circle of August 24, 1995

Overhead 360º view from within the simple swirled crop circle of August 24, 1995 at Culsalmond, Aberdeenshire

Crop circles are not new. The phenomenon is centuries-old, embedded in folklore in South Africa and China, achieving sparse comment from English academics in the 1600s; noted in police records and farming journals in 1890; by military and ‘classified’ sources through the 1950s and ’60s.

It was not until 1980, however, that the general populace began to notice them. Since 1990 size and intricacy have developed, mimicking computer fractals, fourth dimensional reality, esoterica known only to quantum physicists. Nearly 30 years after that Thatcherite time, discussion favours excitement over fear, anticipation rather than suppression, belief more than ridicule. The appearance of upwards of 10,000 reported ‘genuine’ crop circles in twenty-nine countries worldwide has brought the subject into the mainstream. It has become ‘cool’ to talk about what they might mean.

In the English countryside since 2005, designs have become so complex, it is natural to speak of codes and mathematical sequences and quantum physics and astronomical numbers. As simple ellipses expanded into trailing solar flares, hypercubes, calendrical geometry and astrophysical complexity, we became mesmerized by beauty in the summer landscape, breathless with anticipation of what would come next.

In 2009 the pick of the crop finished at the end of August. Fields in September were conspicuous by their absence.

They’ve got us where they want us: on the edge of our seats.

In a lull between September’s close and next year’s crop of never-before-seen designs, what have we learned? Why are we being gifted such inspiration?

What associative ideas do they generate? What emotions do they trigger? Where do they mostly appear?

Crop Circles as Seasonal Meditation and Earth Connection

White Horse and star guidance sextant crop circle, Alton Barnes solstice 2009


Many delving, however briefly, into this phenomenon would associate the random appearance of crop circles with that other kind of circle: the ancient and sacred stone circle. That the majority of designs in England has focused on the hallowed precincts of great sacred sites like Avebury and Sillbury Hill, Wiltshire, Rollright Stones, Oxfordshire and within sight of ancient burial mounds of Hampshire is no coincidence. The same is true for appearances near ancient ancestral sites in other countries: Holland, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Latvia; even the Serpent Mound, east of Cincinnati, Ohio. In all this exotica, it is easy to miss one particular circle of great simplicity but infinite importance in the farmland of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which appeared at the end of Lammas, 1995.*

A little patience and we can find a context, a common link.

First off, like the siting of ancient stone circles, crop circle placement is not random.

Dowsers, diviners, engineers, television cameramen and aircraft pilots can all attest to electromagnetic anomalies occurring in cleared agricultural land where Neolithic and Bronze Age farmers placed their mounds, erected their trilithons, buried their dead. Feng shui proponents, who detect minute variations in electrical body pulses, have commented on the extraordinary fluctuations of energy contained within the relatively small area concentrated on Wiltshire’s sacred sites; Alton Barnes, with its twin village Alton Priors, rank high on the electromagnetic scale. It is not surprising, therefore, that this select valley houses not only the prehistoric White Horse, but was home to Milk Hill swallow configuration (2008) and multiple coded designs in 2009: whirling dolphins, star tetrahedron and the sextant (star navigational instrument) created in three stages; contemporary appearances at Alton Priors include – in perfect timing – the exquisite eight/infinity symbol of 08/08/08 (August 8, 2008) and the swallow with coded tail of June 2009.

Moving the Magnetic Matrix
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to watch your compass needle fluctuate wildly at Yatesbury, Wiltshire; a newly-charged car battery die on the edge of a field at Sillbury Hill, near Avebury or your camera spontaneously recharge in the centre of a newly-laid crop design at Alton Barnes. These magnetic phenomena are commonplace to students of ‘leyline’ energy meridians, with which the Wiltshire basin and Cotswold range are filled. But it is significant that Yatesbury was home to the dragonfly glyph of June 3rd and Phoenix of June 12th 2009. Sillbury Hill has always deviated instruments; its great chalk mound resisting man’s excavations to discover its secret; but it opened its fields to decoration of extraordinary complexity on August 3rd, 2009 when plain swirled circles were found to contain at their centres the intricately woven patterns reminiscent of the medieval corn-dolly craft.

According to a representative of the British Feng Shui Society, an area of Britain ranking second only to the Avebury-Yatesbury-Windmill Hill energy vortex is the largely forgotten agricultural plain of Scotland–lying between the 56th and 57thN parallel–in the counties of Angus, Aberdeenshire and Banff. World attention has focused on names like Bishops Cannings, the Roundway, and Chiselden. But how many have heard of Sunhoney, Easter Aquhorthies, Culsalmond or Old Rayne?

Among the excitement of first circles decorating Wiltshire and Oxfordshire in the 1990s, the contemporaneous appearance of a single swirled design in wheat in Aberdeenshire was overlooked. Yet their locations–within ancient sacred landscape, in proximity to prehistoric ritual sites of previously huge importance to a country population–and the time of year in which they appeared have a common link.

Reconnecting us to our Primeval Earth Calendar

In ancient times, the Celtic calendar revolved round the farming year: birds start to nest at Candlemas (February 2nd), Vernal Equinox fields are prepared for sowing; Beltane (May 1st) held a huge fire festival celebrating the seeded land; fire festivals were perpetuated ritually and with deliberate intent, until well after the Reformation. Only then did Church and State combine to desecrate such ritual, relegating it to the realm of pagan superstition (pagan = L. paganus = country-dweller), implication: simple country folk knew no better. Midsummer solstice was a time of rejoicing for the bounty beginning to appear in fruit and crops; Lammas (August 1st) marked the onset of harvest, usually over by autumnal equinox; and the Celtic Year ended and began anew with the festival of Hallowe’en/All Hallows Day. Christmas was superimposed on the earlier festival of winter solstice, when the land was in almost total darkness, with farming people praying for the return of the Light.

In an abundance of festivals, the greatest for agricultural and rural families was that of Lammas. While its pivotal date was August 1st, the festival coincided in a good summer with the actual harvesting of grain. In most communities it began three weeks before and continued until three weeks after that date–ending around August 24th. Through the medieval centuries, every community in the Land had a Lammas fair dedicated to the local patron saint, a Horse Fair, a fair to compete, display wares, buy and sell food, fruit and harvested bounty.

Once great annual Horse Fair and Travelling People's Market, Aikey Brae, Deer in Buchan

Annual horse fair and Travelling People's Market, Aikey Brae, Buchan

Aberdeenshire, like many of the southern counties was rich in such events. The names, if not the actual ethos of the celebration, linger in local names. Old Rayne has its Lourin’ Fair; annual Aikey Fair occurs at Aikey Brae near Old Deer. And Culsalmond had the greatest fair of them all: St Sair’s Fair. Named after one of the earliest Brittonic saints to spread Christianity in the North, St Serf was the patron of the St Sair’s Horse and Feeing Fair. Not only serving as a forum for employing (feeing) farm servants, it attracted horse and cattle fanciers from all over the kingdom. While Aikey and Lourin continue to show horses, St Sair’s Fair did not survive World War II.

The stance at Jericho on the Hill of St Sairs has dissolved into the sod of the Glens of Foudland, like the tiny chapel to St Sair which used to mark the spot. Even after such fairs were officially banned in 1660, St Sairs was going strong in 1722. Horses were being traded in 1917 on the hill. Change in farm practices and two wars were its undoing.

What is significant, however, is not that great stallions used to parade these hallowed slopes, but that St Sairs happened within a sacred enclave of ancestral ritual circles, burial mounds and avenues just like Avebury and Sillbury Hill. The Culsalmond recumbent stone circle lies buried among the gravestones of the ruinous pre-Reformation kirk; Neolithic carved stone balls were found on the farms of Jericho, St Sairs and Waulkmill, within a sacred avenue flanked by three stone circles and two burial mounds. Bronze Age urns from Colpy and Upper Jericho have, along with charred body parts and Neolithic carved stone ladles, found their way into museums in Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh and London. More than one hundred flint arrowheads and several hundred flint implements have disappeared from this ancient place–and the archaeological record.

It was here on the last day of Lammas 1995 that a crop circle sent a reminder—a simple swirled design in wheat—to trigger in this ancient landscape a memory of connection to its agricultural past and, perhaps, if we are listening, the key to our communal future.
©2009 Marian Youngblood

Lammas 2019 Update
Crop circles continue to amaze a wider world audience, with drone footage clearly making life easier on farmers, with fewer footprints to inflict crop damage.

Attracting an increase in human interpreters, crop designs seem to have elevated messages to the psychic/intuitive level — viz. the computer chip program crop circle at Chualar, Salinas, CA appearance of December 30, 2013.

The Windmill Coincidence
For the last thirty years crop circles have appeared, mostly in Wiltshire and the Chalk Downs of Salisbury and English southern uplands, but not exclusively so. Dutch crop circles have (happily) besieged windmills, man-made canals and tulip fields. Frequent Downs designs have appeared close to functioning windmills, highlighting ancient ways of life—but wait.

In just the last decade it has become clear to us that the harnessing of water and windpower is more urgent than we have ever known.

In hindsight, is it mere coincidence that the solitary Aberdeenshire crop circle of Lammas 1995, top, appeared on the Colpy-Culsalmond farming estate responsible for the pioneer (and largest) private wind-farm to power the North of Scotland, until the official opening (by Prince Charles) this week of the Beatrice Offshore Wind Complex, off Wick (Sutherland)?

Crop Circle Creators have been telling us all along. We just weren’t listening.
©2019 Marian Youngblood

October 11, 2009 Posted by | crop circles, culture, Prehistory, ritual, sacred geometry, sacred sites, stone circles | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Human Kindness Grows Tentacles—Learning new Migrant ways in CultchaShock of Moving Home—

HUMAN KINDNESS GROWS TENTACLES LEARNING NEW MIGRANT WAYS IN CULTCHASHOCK OF MOVING HOME

MONTHLY FIRST WEDNESDAY EMERGENCE FROM SUBTERRANEAN/SUB-PACIFIC CINDER-CONE TUNNEL for INSECURE WRITERS, FLYAWAY SUPERSCRIBES & WORD-ADDICTS OF ALL AGES

Driving on Right… Thinking on Left

Catherine Zeta Jones‘s experience—a Welsh-born (Sept. 1969 barely a Millennial) star of Glamorgan, S.Wales, then London, Paris, New York and LAX with her hit Chicago (2002, also Renée Zellwegger & Richard Gere) brought her full attention world-wide. Working with and eventually marrying Michael Douglas was a clincher in Hollywood, but she swears her daily quickies to local supermarket or even regular swing-by her hair stylist still cause her palpitations.

You think she’s kidding? Driving on or off the freeway in downtown Los Angeles—or even a leisurely stop off for fries in demure Beverly Hills is not automatic. It causes her to do her “British click-click” as she switches her brain to remember to drive on the right.

It’s no joke.

Back home, on sweet-perfumed winding hedge-lined roads of Tiger Bay rural South Glamorgan—home to Welsh stars Shirley Bassey & Tom Jones, we Boomers, pre-Boomers—Crazee-Oldie Land Girl Diggie Chickies use bicycles, maybe a pony, a horse or two if we’re fortunate, and we DRIVE ON THE LEFT.

This remarkable observation may have escaped the attention of the Greater American continent or in fact most of the Western World and including Oz/NZ & Indonesia; but interestingly NOT Japan. This curious anomaly results in a parking lot in downtown Hilo, Big Island, HI where traffic travels left: entry & exit look left. This teensy weensy change in direction caused chaos on entry to the Suisan marina and dock parking lot—built by Japanese contractor—for the official government-funded multi-glitter rocket-boosted star-filled sky over Hawai’i’s downtown Bayshore—the municipal fireworks display last Monday night, July 4th. Please allow the 4th to be with you. Blatant crib. Sorry Star Wars.

It boomed and popped (superb right-brain chaos thinking) for a prescribed Government-funded fully loaded Fireworks Display lasting precisely 90 minutes. Then all the vehicles drove on the LEFT to get back out on the Highway. Thank you Queen Liliuokalani (last queen) for having us on your shoreline.

I empathize deeply with Catherine—wondergirl to beat all exports from pre-Celtic mystical Wales. I don’t live in SoCal or even get to do a little shopping on Rodeo Drive (long time ago)—no longer desire. But growing up in Scotland, having 30-year offspring period; then zoom All Change—CulchaShock USA here we come. Neither American husband understood. They drove on the right: always; no problem. But neither got it that it was not automatic for me. There’s not a day I don’t forget to remember which side of the street to look out for traffic on: Boom she-bang. Give that woman a ticket.

Olde Times Always There—iGens Tackle Retro-Book-Learning

But there’s hope for us Oldtimers—call us what you will—WWII Land Girls—who wore the dizziest snaz headscarf routine to keep unruly hair out of the pail while milking the cow—or planting kale & cabbage.

May not be quite old enuff to be a Land Girl, but my parents had friends who were and the ethos stuck.

Armed with bucket and spade, sometimes water hose or mechanic’s toolkit, Brit lady volunteers pretty well ran everything behind the scenes, vide HM Queen bottom left, on visit to War Museum to see her khaki wartime volunteer uniform.

Even our language is different. Lingo changes generationally—each new gen a new word. Only now they’re called memes. Don’t ask me. I’m not a millennial. Nor am I an IGen, GenZ or even a Boomer. Ahem. I was born before the Julian calendar change. Well, not quite that old. But…

Onward and upward: pix top above mostly the gorgeous and forever timeless-no-age-looking Zeta-Jones in triplicate counter-clockwise from top left 1. Butterfly nebula to get us thinking aerial thoughts on transformation and transfiguration in this new world 2.&3. trailer for and Catherine’s seminal scene from Chicago starring Richard Gere & Renée Zellwegger 4. July 2022 reconciliation-family reunion of husband Michael Douglas’s estranged son, courtesy selfless Catherine <3. 5. Semi-serious break from Silly Season distractions: Wild boar—contested entrant into human race for environmental regeneration unpopular with some new rewilding charitable institutions; carved stone rooftile found embedded in Chesters fort, Northumberland, part of Hadrian’s Wall abandoned before Roman exit A.D. 420. Sacred wild boar was not only emblem of the 20th Legion Deva Victrix, but important enough for legionaries to hack away at Gordon territorial boar coat of arms in Aberdeenshire [Deva also ancient pre-Celtic name for River Dee—goddess’s victory over sacred water]?

Aberdeenshire is coincidentally target of summertime exit from London heat to pleasures of Scottish country dancing, highland pony trekking, forest rewilding and—later—Braemar Gathering attended by Her Majesty. Formerly part of her holiday from metropolitan demands after she views Windsor Horse Show [fave animal after corgis] & Windsor Royals Polo Match. Unable now to ride because of spinal pain, at age 96, she deputized grandson HRH Prince William to swing his polo stallion around like he’s a professional, good at animal recognition/communication and care. There are plenty horses waiting for them in Balmoral, after touchdown in Scots capital, Edinburgh, to “receive the keys to the kingdom”; a short tree-planting session and (private) passenger train ride later & she will reach Outlander territory allowing rain, wind, trees, river Dee and peace to enfold. She may even get some personal catchup time for reading (and planting more trees) with the children. Lonach Gathering, Strathdon gathers friends of mountain, sky and earth together as the Clans march through the Glen to the sound of the pipes.

Without libraries, what are we? We have no past, no future

Ray Bradbury
Bibliotic haven for polymaths pre-Boomer-style—5000 years of Annals, sacred Chronicles, religion & food combine body/mind/spirit Among others Caroline Myss Sacred Contracts, advocates the familiar, light being archetypes to help us shine on through

Probably most famous of all, the Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt, holding scrolls in its Mouseion—an Academy dedicated to the nine Muses held papyrus scrolls from Nineveh, Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon 605 B.C.; Sumerian, Assyrian, Mesopotamian papyrus records brought into port in ships of Hellenic origin. This aura of cultural academia was created as a royal initiative on impetus of author-historian Ptolemy I Soter c. 320 B.C. with his son, c.240 B.C Ptolemy II Philadelphus, after the death of Alexander the Great, 323 B.C. when the empire collapsed, dividing into three. The Library was built in the Brucheion (Royal Quarter, below l.) as part of the Mouseion building which included living quarters dining facilities and tax-free academic lifestyle for a dozen teachers. Sacred ‘temple’ for an estimated 400,000 scrolls held by royal command the main purpose of the Ptolemaic campus of buildings was to show off the wealth of Egypt, with research as a lesser goal. Library contents were created strategically for the benefit of their royal ruler, with the Chief Librarian appointed as personal tutor to the king’s son Intent was if scholars were completely freed from all the burdens of everyday life they could devote more time to research and intellectual pursuits. Historian Strabo called the group of scholars who lived at the Mouseion a σύνοδος (synodos, “community”). As early as 283 B.C. they may have numbered between thirty and fifty learned men.

The *Place of the Cure of the Soul*

Μουσεῖον τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας original Mouseion Academy sacred to Goddesses of the Arts, Nine Muses, was established as major part of Ptolemaic plan: academic tax-free community learning institution, shared dining-living quarters, garden walk, botanical zoo, teaching classrooms, lecture hall, a dozen academics including a Head Librarian. Ptolemy II Philadelphus son on father-historian Ptolemy I Soter’s advice, provided a learning environment, lecture halls, shared dining, reading room, meeting rooms, gardens, creating a model for the modern university campus.[32] A hall contained shelves for the collections of papyrus scrolls known as bibliothekai (βιβλιοθῆκαι). An inscription above shelves read: “The place of the cure of the soul.”

You Have to be Both Sexist & Racist to Remember WWII

Perfectionist in personal appearance, HM’s superb timing @QueensCanopy est. 2022 her charity of choice encouraging tree-planting by spade & rake aka WWII WRAC female-backup force technique! Monarch’s war uniform held London Military Museum

Alternate aphorism from Brit Land Girls as reaction to learning of American G.I.s’ rural station as uniformed migrant gum-chewing baggy-pants-wearing khaki bois drinking at the local: “Them Yanks—over-weight, over-sexed and over here”

Remembering to Remember or Forgetting Writing Cues, Deadlines

July stand by! It’s traditionally hurricane season in Bahamas and Antilles—but it’s Silly Season in the Press Office—this grateful not-so-young pre-Boomer still breathing & counting the sacred numbers, despite current trending political Brit. Downing Street news. No.10 Cat is more clued in on that story.

Much more relevant to the wondrous miracle of being present—of hauling oneself by one’s bootstraps out of our Cinder Cone Cave of Writerly Solitude to Face the World for one first Wednesday per month: think NaNo & IWSG who both have summer projects on the slow burner.

Smell Burning? It’s a cloud of leftover dynamite, gunpowder smoke from July 4 Independence Day Weekend+Monday fireworks-to-die-for, sparkler* heaven for Oldie Americans, rocket shower gems for toddlers. All cats indoors, however. Drive ‘wrong way’ down Bayshore & Banyan.

Watch yer feet for S.Korean Enhypen-clone #redsnapper bangers—all the rage.

*p.s. On anti-glitter sparkler campaign, I washed some of my shiny (sixties’) Mendocino abalone shells and resulting glitter scattered on the carpet as I dried them was verrrry sparkling!

Light Beings Call (Writing) Hideaway Hotline by Sacred Numbers

They say home is where the heart is; Deepak Chopra says breath is life; Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh would say breathe in I have arrived—breathe out I am home, Peek out cave take in-breath; write blog post blog tune into madness of human lot. On exhale, the pundits say, we put the world to rights. Happy 4th or as #roaring ‘twenties star Groucho Marx said “plenny mo’ numbers”. Happy scribing. ©2022 Marian Youngblood

July 6, 2022 Posted by | ancient rites, art, Ascension, astrology, astronomy, authors, belief, birds, blogging, calendar customs, consciousness, culture, earth changes, energy, environment, festivals, fiction, gardening, history, Muse, New Age, ocean, pre-Christian, Prehistory, publishing, ritual, sacred sites, spiritual, traditions, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maypole Dancing for Beginners—Tripping the Light Fantastic

MAYPOLE DANCING FOR BEGINNERS—TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC

INSECURE WRITERS’ FIRST WEDNESDAY LEAP FROM DARK WO/MAN-CAVE INTO THE LIGHT

Leaping out of Dark Writers’ Cave into Dazzling Light Takes Guts

Bealtainn, Celtic quarter day of the ancient pre-Christian calendar, brings out all the suppressed joy held inside all winter, screaming it into the daylight, sunshine’s warm glow, encouraging us to leave all negativity and pessimistic thoughts behind (down there in our man/woman writers‘ cave and brave the reality of a world struggling to love itself, despite restricted activity and anti-diluvian healthcare system.

Maypole dancing—like Morris dancing—is Saxon English in origin rather than sprung from a native Celtic/Scots/Pictish Irish celebration of summer—quarter day Bealtainn/Beltane exactly divides the ancient year into four, with cross-quarter days every six weeks—

Weaving, like maypole dancing, entwines threads seamlessly from different origins

Ancient archetypes, top, not altogether helpful during astral fireworks in May skies; focus solar & lunar conjunction clusters of Jupiter/Uranus Venus/Mars in Taurus with Pisces bringing up every watery emotion

Images, top, bring archaic belief to life—except for last, recent find in Turkey: wine-god Dionysus, decapitated, drowning floundering in his own filth, blood-stained or worse—anti-booze ad par excellence. Others, from Vatican lookalike flower-of-life orb to amygdala, pineal gland/brain cortex held by our primeval/ancestral dragon self, l. to simple ride on hippocampus, rt, forerunner to seahorse and/or unicorn; top mid rt. classic show of devotion by (Phrygian-capped) Ganymede, synchronously cup-bearer to the gods—offering to Zeus who appears as the Great Eagle—and as one of Jupiter’s main satellites in a Galileo universe, 1560s.

Northern Fishing Villages Last to Keep Fire-Festival Tradition

Rural Banffshire and the Pictish North Coast have vastly different traditions of their own—ranging from the precursor to Nevada’s Burning Man—Bealltainn ‘Burn the Witches #Bonefire’ (May 2nd) Lammas Fire (Aug.1) & famously, Burghead’s Clavie Burning still has a hold in fishing communities all along the Moray coast—Burghead one of few remaining to uphold fire festival tradition. Superstition holds firm in Buckie in particular, with its 32 churches. Until WWII all the northern ports held bonfire rituals four times a year. Stonehaven’s Swinging Fireballs is a relic of Hallowe’en, but held now on Hogmanay.

According to the Rev. Gregor, In some districts fires were kindled on May 2nd, O.S., called bonefires. It was believed that on that evening and night, witches were abroad in all their force, casting ill on cattle and stealing cow’s milk. To counteract their evil power branches of rowan tree and woodbine were hung over byre doors, with fires kindled by every farmer and cottar. Old thatch, straw, furze (gorse), broom clippings gathered into a central ‘bonefire’ were set alight moments after sunset. Some continually fed the fire, while others pick up flaming mass with pitchforks and poles and run hither and thither through the smoke or dancing round the fire shouting ‘Fire! Blaze an’ burn the Witches’.

In some villages (1881)a large round cake made of oat or barley-meal was rolled through the ashes. “When all was burned up, the ashes were celebrated and scattered far and wide, and all continued until quite dark to run through the ashes crying ‘Fire! fire! burn the witches’.” Gregor

Vestiges of such a strong tradition remain—every port on Aberdeen’s North Coast used to celebrate.

Distributing fire altar gifts from the Doorie, Clavie King Dan Ralph is one of few remaining Burghead residents who remembers when all northern fishing ports celebrated, with ‘pieces’ of burning Clavie barrel given to important local residents (publican, harbor master) on Clavie Crew’s ritual circling of the town.

By the Fireside—Peat Smoke & Storytelling—Centre of the Hoos

“At one corner of the hearth sat the father, and at the other the mother. Between the two, family group might extend to a servant or two, for all were on a footing of equality; the servant being a neighbour’s son or daughter of exactly the same rank and means.

“All were busy. One of the women might be knitting, another making/mending an article of dress.

“Of the men, one might be making candles from bog-fir—cleavin can’les—another manufacturing wood harrow-tynes, a third sewing brogues, and a fourth weaving a pair of mittens. [cleek]

“Family evenings usually included one or more neighbours spending time at the fireside, sharing supper together from the communal cooking pot—this was called geein them a forenicht. On these occasions, young women brought their spinning wheels on their shoulders and their wool or flax under arm. It was not unusual for three or four spinning wheels to be going at once, skilful fingers busy at the stent, with each spinner vying with the other who would be first to complete.” Rev. W. Gregor, 1881

Tales of Supernatural Draw Children in Around the Hearth

He continues. “When the children’s school-books were laid aside, and they’d finished their homework, it was time for song and story and ballad to begin. For most part stories were of fairies and their doings, water-kelpies, ghosts, of witches and their deeds, of compacts with the Devil, and what befell those who made such compacts; of men skilled in black airt, and strange things they were able to do.

“As tale succeeded tale, and the big peat fire began to fade, younger members crept nearer and nearer to the older ones and after a little, seated themselves on their knees or between them and the fire, with eyes now fearfully turned to the doors, now to the chimney, now to a corner whence issued the smallest noise, and now to the next, in dread of seeing some of the uncanny brood. Often stories were mixed in with history, oftentimes the wars between England and Scotland, but the Supernatural beings always won.”

The Folk-Lore of the NORTH-EAST OF SCOTLAND by the Reverend Walter Gregor, M.A. published for the FOLK-LORE SOCIETY, London Paternoster Row, E.C. 1881

Highland Hospitality—Roaring Nineties’ Déjà Vu of PotLuck

120 year gap: fires and fire festivals then & now—hearth centre of the home, above, photos 1860 courtesy Theodora Fitzgibbon’s ‘A Taste of Scotland Traditional Scots Recipes’, 1971

Aberdeen and Northeast Scotland isn’t known just for its whisky and shortbread. The North Coast has a long tradition of smoking/drying fish: Speldings—Sandend, Portsoy, Buckie haddock, herring, trout, ling cod, even potted salmon in the Blootoon, Peterheid.

600ft Tor of Troup-Gamrie Mohr Immune to Norse, Foodie Heaven

Eentie teentie tippenny bun The Cat geed oot tae get some fun To get some fun played on a drum Eentie teentie tippenny bun—festival rhyme, Banff

Eetum peetum penny pump A’a the ladies in a lump Sax or saiven in a clew, A’ made wi’ candy glue

Fraserburgh Rhyming slang, Party Games mnemonics

Think Bannocks, Forfar Bridies, Mutton pies, Aiberdeenshire is famous for Butteries—the buttery rowie: breakfast-lunch #bap (bun) snack of roll oozing butter. Cullen, Banffshire where Scots king Culen died 967, has Cullen skink, ice cream! intact railway viaduct, pink beaches from extruded Old Red Sandstone while Portsoy and MacDuff boast their secret ocean treasure of fresh ling cod, lobster, shrimp and crab available at dockside. Other locations like 600ft, Gamrie Mohr to Tor of Troup teeter high over waves on an open coastline which dissuaded Viking intrusion. St.John’s kirk, and neighbouring Findlater castle are perfect examples of the Buchan coastline’s built-in immunity to attack. St.John’s North sea-facing stone wall, built c.1100, featured Norse skulls from the ‘Bloody Pits’ (‘Bleedy Pots’) battlefield above Gamrie-Crovie beach where a foolish longship anchored without a familiar Fjord (c.f. Argyll, Western Isles coast) to ‘cloak’ its approach. Similarly at Sandend, 16thC Findlater castle perches eye-to-eye with gannets and puffin over sheer drop cliff below, its ‘local’ kirk at Fordyce another 8thC Fite kirk (fite=white aka built of stone not sod, see King Nechtan) is dedicated to St.Talorcan. Like all 8thC Fite kirks—it has the mark of early monastic peripatetic teaching, following a line of stone-built kirks from Tyrie to Strichen and from Old Deer to Old Rayne.

Sandend, still famous for its smokies (dried haddock), smoked salmon, kippers—and surfing—is part of mediaeval landholdings of Fordyce castle, itself a stone’s throw away from Roman-occupied Deskford, where the famed (near-unique) Pictish carnyx battle horn lay buried after battle, c. 420 A.D.

Foodwise, Banff & Buchan were originally geared for oats: oatcakes, Skirlie and Atholl Brose (all use oatmeal). Neeps n’ tatties, too: basic soup broth. Stovies are potatoes fried open fire. And barley (bear) from ancient strain makes the best whisky. Try Caledonian Creme.* *Be prepared: there’s a lot of whisky about: Atholl brose and Caledonian cream specials are loaded with it.

Frighten Away Ghosts by Playing Party Games, Rhymes

I saw a doo flee ower the dam, Wi’ silver wings an’ golden ban; She leukit east, she leukit west, She leukit fahr tae light on best. She lightit on a bank o’ san’ Tae see the cocks o’ Cumberlan’ Fite puddin’ black trout—Ye’re Oot’

Rev. Walter Gregor Folklore 1881 collection of party rhymes and garden hide-and-seek games, counting conundrums, nonsense rhymes, many lost to current generation, see below

As I gaed up the Brindy Hill* I met my faither—he geed wull He hid jewels, he hid rings; He’d a cat wi’ ten tails He’d a ship wi’ sivven sails He’d a haimmer dreeve nails. Up Jack, doon Tam; Blaw the bellows, aul’ man. *Brindy, Cothiemuir wood, Alford

Mr Smith’s a very good man; He teaches his scholars noo an’ than. An’ fin he’s deen he taks a dance Up t’London doon t’France He wears a green beaver wi’ a snoot Tarry Diddle— ye’re oot!

Cottar hand-weaving kashie, left, to carry peat from bog’s drying dykes after casting

similar traditional Pacific hand weave hats, baskets neck gear in ‘maypole’ weave, top

Eerinnges, oranges, twa fer a penny Ah’m a guid scholar fer coontin’ sae many—Portsoy

Eerie, aaree, Biscuit Mary, Pim, Pam, Pot—Portsoy

Eetum fer peetum, the King cam tae meet ‘m, An’ dang John Hamilton doon—Tyrie

As I gaed up the aipple tree, A’ the aipples stack tae me; Fite puddin’ black trout, I choose you oot fer a dirty dish clout—party game counter, choosing a partner, Portsoy

Een, twa, three, fower, five, sax, sieven A’a them fisher dodds widna win t’ haven

Anti-fishing joke rhyme told by fishermen of the Broch (Fraserburgh) against themselves, 1880s

Writerly Advice or Just Common Sense

No critique: but current iGens, Tween-tiger/tigresses, GenZ, even Millennials are far more interested in possible NorthCoast sources for fresh lobster, wild salmon, Sandend speldings or Deveron troot than how those precious fishing villages survived, nay now thrive, despite decades of neglect. Same goes for the Doric language. Unless our genetic curiosity prevails, what hope is there for us country quines?

Nevertheless our joint hereditary conditioning—see previous post on Scythian-Scots Irish connection, echoed by Walter Gregor—digs deeply into a [Caucasian] genetic ability to adapt to whatever Mother Nature throws at us. Plus a deeply-embedded love of fire and celebration by flame in all its guises. Burning the old allows us entry into the new. As writerly occupants of subterranean Wo/Man Cave dwellings—who’ve really had a long winter—we can surely agree now’s a great time for renewal.

Happy month of May, a rare celestial all-planets direct, conjunction and… May the 4th be with You. ©2022 Marian Cameron Youngblood

May 4, 2022 Posted by | ancient rites, art, Ascension, astrology, authors, belief, blogging, calendar customs, crystalline, culture, energy, festivals, fiction, history, Muse, music, nature, New Age, ocean, pre-Christian, Prehistory, publishing, ritual, sacred sites, seasonal, spiritual, traditions, weather, winter, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gab o’ May to Gemini June

Ne’er cast a cloot till May be oot
Old Scots rhyme

May blossom: Kanzan ornamental cherry, cedar and pale green maple leaves

The old Scots of our little rhyme applies not just to the month of May, but also to the hawthorn bush, the Maytree. Thereby hangs a tale.

Gemini offers a kindly doorway to summer: and we are now thankfully a few days into this communicative astrological sign. Gone the stress and hardship of winter, cold spring, slow growth. Enter the Cosmic Twins: dualism, communication, seeing both sides of the same situation. In other words, enter the mercurial element. And warm.

Fingers crossed.

Gemini is usually a forgiving zodiac month. It fills one third of the calendar month of May. Its communication is tangible. Emblazoning shocking pink blooms dance on pale green leafy branches next to russet peeling-bark maples. Purple blossoms shout color from bending lilac boughs. Who wouldn’t want to communicate, yea, rejoice, in May? at least in the latter part of it.

“The world’s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.”
– Edwin Way Teale

Not only has the zodiac sign of Gemini the backing of communicative Mercury to support it, but this year Mercury has only recently turned from retrograde to direct. Time for winter silence to end, stilted conversation, lack of fluidity gone; communication can start up again. The earth, too, a little miffed at having to wait so long to see the sun, is throwing caution to the winds, and everything is blooming at once.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a Godsend. It has been a long hard winter. We can all do with some relaxation. A little light relief, duality, multi-vision. Spring, however late, is welcome.

Trees this year are coming into leaf together all at the same time. We are reminded by birdsong of the fullness of life – fresh greenness of trees and shrubs – blossoms open. Life coughs and restarts.

If the oak comes out before the ash – we’re in for a splash;
If the ash comes out before the oak – we’re in for a soak
‘ more Scots wisdom

All trees came into leaf at the same time

In ‘normal’ years, the ash and oak are the last to open leaf and flower buds and rivalry between them to prognosticate rainy or dry weather of this old wives’ saying is noticeable. All beech, birch, lime and cherry buds are in full leaf before bare branches of the oak and ash decide to join them. Not this year. It was like a race had been initiated to see which species might rival the traditional early budders. They all won the contest.

What potent blood hath modest May.
– Ralph W. Emerson

Other aspects of the season begin to rub off on our chill northern disposition. We loosen up a little, feeling perhaps not so obsessed to compete or complete projects under the pressure of frost. Northern character is driven by cold: it precipitates one into working harder; showing that one is capable of braving hardship along with challenging temperatures. Mañana doesn’t work here. No cultural bias here, but who ever heard of a multi-million-dollar operation run by a Jamaican?

Is it any wonder that the Scot is Scotland’s greatest export? And, as a corollary, that the Scots hard-working northern ethos is one which takes well to leadership? Historically, successful world empires have been run by expatriot (and patriot) Scots: think Andrew Carnegie 1835-1918 (coal, steel and museums), Thomas Blake Glover 1838-1911 (Mitsubishi), John Paul Jones 1747-1792 (founder of the US Navy). Or politics, art and philosophy: think Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832 (lawyer, poet, novelist), Adam Smith 1723-1790 (author, Wealth of Nations, first modern economist), John Sinclair 1754-1835 (politician, writer, first to coin the word ‘statistics’). Or naturalist John Muir 1834-1914, founding father of the environmental movement.

That said, the Scots, like the Germans, are addicted to exotic places — but only as a place to ‘chill’, to ‘get away from’ their ‘real world’. Nowadays Scots populate world cruises and Germans overrun southern Italy. But then they come back home.

Mary Queen of Scots, at one time claimed the thrones of Scotland, England, France and Ireland

A friend on a recent visit from the Pacific Northwest made an interesting observation: more of a cosmic comment:

what if Mary Queen of Scots had not been executed in 1587 by her cousin Elizabeth I?

Would we Scots still be the same feisty underdogs, over-achievers striving to pit our wits against the Universe? If she the Roman Catholic queen, rather than her protestant son James VI & I, had reigned in Great Britain, would we be more stay-at-home? more continental (‘auld alliance’ Scotland/France)? more laid-back? less prickly? less worldly or world-travelled?

Would we have been motivated to invent anything? (James Watt 1736-1819, steam engine; John Logie Baird 1839-1913, television).

Would we tolerate living in a climate which supports, in the words of Lord Byron – whose mother came from Aberdeenshire:
“Winter – ending in July
To recommence in August” ?

Is it any wonder we are obsessed with May?

The Gab o’ May is a harsh word for the beginning of such a gentle month, but historically its behavior has been erratic. The ‘Gab’ or ‘maw’ of a new month which perpetuates the weather of its predecessor is given short shrift. Lest the unwary shepherd forget, ancient tales tell of sheep dying in the fields in May.

Aye keep in some corn and hay
To meet the caul Kalends o’ May

The old earthman’s repeated rhyme about the Kalends of May sounds antiquated and without relevance to the modern ear, but in the North of Scotland this year his words had meaning.

Icy April

Weather in this Icelandic neighbourhood reached Arctic climax proportions between December and March. April’s showers were icy rather than gentle and the psyche of the ‘stoic’ Scot hardened and bristled. It’s the traditional way in a northerly, long-suffering people to cope with the harsh realities of living at the 57th degree of latitude and farther north.

The Pentland Firth, chosen to host the World Surfing Championships, presented contestants with ice floes. Not a single tree opened its spring foliage in April.

A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.
– Rhyme from England

Not a bee in sight. Not even an over-wintering midge. And May was imminent. Back to the Kalends, though.

Fearless spring inhabitant: peacock butterfly in early May

The Kalends was a Roman term which looks a little anachronistic now on the page of the poem. But it is good to remember that until Pope Gregory initiated a calendar change from Julian to Gregorian in 1582, only a brief time into Scotland’s own revolutionary change — the Reformation, which itself did not fully take hold until 1660 — the Church commanded people’s lives; dictated what was read to them (most of them didn’t read themselves) and what the Church read was Latin. So the first of the month was, in the minds of the rural farmer and countryman at least, still referred to by its Roman calendrical name, the Kalends.

It was the Roman name for the beginning of the month which gave us the word for Calendar in the first place. In Roman Scots it’s the same as the Gab o’ May – Maw of the month – the cold raw maw of May.

So what does it mean?

In times before there were trains, buses, mechanized transportation, when every countrydweller lived close to the land, the only modes of travel other than foot were a horse or a bicycle. And one of the surest ways of surviving was to keep a cow, or a sheep or a goat close to home. It’s what many rural communities still do in countries other than the First World. In Scotland before the 18th century, little “but ‘n’ ben” shacks were built of turf and earth. When stone building became more common at the end of that century, the same structure was converted to stone, but of similar design: a ‘but’, (abutting the ‘byre’ or stable with access to outdoors) where the animals lived and kept the building warm with their cozy breathing; they provided easy access for milking before being put out to pasture in the fields at the end of May. The ‘ben’ was the other part of the house, ‘through’ the house where guest humans went, away from the warm kitchen hearth and adjoining beasts. Until well into the 20th century, ‘company’ were invited into the ‘ben’ part of the house. Only the family spent time in the ‘but’, within soundwave proximity of the beasts. Even after the advent of a more leisured farming class – those in stone farmhouses with separate quarters for farm animals, barns and other sheds – no good practitioner of husbandry would send his animals out into the fields before the end of bad weather.

You kept your feathered friends indoors until all risk of frost was past

When the weather became kindly – as garden centres so often remind us “plant out after all risk of frost has passed”: So with hen, cow, pig, sheep or goat. You kept your life-giving feathered and four-footed companions warm and fed indoors, not venturing to put them out to pasture until all risk of frost was over.

That’s where the calendar and the month of May come in.

The original Roman calendar calculated according to a 13-lunar-month regimen. Julius Caesar, after an extended visit with Cleopatra in Egypt, upgraded the Roman ‘Julian’ calendar in 46BC to run along lines similar to the Egyptian solar one which he admired. The Julian year was on average 365.25 days long. It worked well until extra ‘leap’ days started to mount up over a period of 1500 years. When the Gregorian calendar took over from the Julian calendar, the western hemisphere ‘lost’ 11 days. In country districts in the northern hemisphere – Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Shetland, Orkney, the Western Isles – country people saw this as being robbed of life’s most precious commodity – time.

Because the original Roman calendar had run on cycles of the moon, even the revised version began to clash with solar time and calculation which made sense in the first centuries AD by the 18th century had lost relevance. An adjustment had to be made. September 2, 1752 was chosen as the date on which the old calendar would ‘switch’ to the new. On that day, the British Isles and all English colonies, including America, lost 11 days–September 3rd through 13th. People went to bed on September 2nd and when they awoke next morning, the date had become September 14th.

Country ways: living in harmony with your neighbours

There were riots in rural villages when people thought the government was trying to cheat them out of 11 days of their lives. Though these days disappeared in English lands in 1752, a number had already vanished in other places–France in 1582, Austria in 1584, and Norway in 1700. Tsarist Russian, on the other hand, did not convert to Gregorian until 1918. And the Berber people of North Africa still operate on Julian time.

Naturally they were upset when Christmas fell 11 days earlier that year, Epiphany 11 days earlier the next January and then it played havoc with spring. May started 11 days before the accustomed season and so our title quote, another favored Scots expression, became meaningless:

‘ne’er cast a cloot
till May be oot’

It has often been said that the ‘May’ of the quotation refers to the blossom of the May or Hawthorn and this would tie in well with spring timing. In calendar terms, however, in now (Gregorian) time, the Scots are seen to suggest caution when divesting winter woolies, extra layers of ‘vests’ (underwear) until the month of June has begun!

The original aphorism may have applied to the hawthorn, which did indeed bloom during the latter weeks of May; but when 11 days were subtracted from the old calendar, May became 11 days chillier and so in northern Scotland at least, the hawthorn no longer blooms until the last week of the month or the first week of June.

‘Ne’er cast a cloot till May be oot’
becomes the month as well as the tree. i.e. don’t take off anything until June.

… and now is not the time for me to tell the tale of the Victorian Scots bothy loon (farm worker) who was sewn into his underwear in November by the ‘kitchie deem’ (kitchen lass, maid) only to have the stitches removed the following summer solstice.

I’ll leave that delight for another story-telling session…

May 25, 2010 Posted by | astrology, calendar customs, culture, festivals, organic husbandry, seasonal, weather | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Party games and Mnemonics

Angel of the Festive Spirit

The festive season is here.

It’s the time for feeling peaceful, sharing joy and being merry; it’s also time for exercise: not of the body perhaps, but of the mind.

Trivial Pursuit used to be very fashionable; Scrabble keeps the cogs oiled, but old poems and rhymes that jog the cogs have a place too.

Whichever way your mind works, the mnemonic that fits the season is one that comes from the far north: its about wood and logs and burning those valuable resources we now cherish so much and burn less frequently. In Scotland, where we still burn logs in woodstoves and open hearths to celebrate solstice and Yule – Christmas and Hanukkah – wherever it is cold enough to warrant a blazing fire, this poem is not only something to remember the season by, but to remember the value of each yule log that we consume. Precious resource, indeed, but what joy it brings.

Wood for the Season: log burning rhyme
Beechwood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year;
Store your beech for Christmastide
With new-cut holly laid beside;
Chestnut’s only good, they say,
If for years ’tis stored away;
Make a fire of the elder tree,
A death within the house you’ll see

But ash green or ash old
Is fit for a Queen with a crown of gold.

Fires of the Festive Season

Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last;
Flames from larch will shoot up high,
Dangerously the sparks will fly;
It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread;
Elm-wood burns like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold;

But ash wood green and ash wood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown.

Oaken logs, if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold;
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke;
Apple wood will scent the room,
With an incense like perfume.
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom;

But ash green or ash dry
For a Queen to warm her slippers by.

According to my grandfather, a childlike lovable old churchman who never wished to stop learning, the Victorians were great ones for mnemonics: for the wind and compass directions in clockwise order:

Never Eat Shredded Wheat

to remembering which side of the ship you were on on an ocean voyage:

The ship’s left port

or, more obscure,

Port wine should be left alone when it is red

This suggests port (left) red, so starboard (right) green. However, my grandfather also liked an occasional glass of port himself and his explanation was that as after dinner port is always traditionally passed around the table to the left; the “port” light is always red, just as port wine is always red.

His many interests included classical languages, the rivers of the world, the seven hills of Rome and how to remember them. While I doubt that too many reading this will have a need for mnemonics for such trivia, you never know; it might come in handy one day.

Firstly, the World’s greatest/longest Rivers:

NAM-MI YACH-Y

Nile (Africa) – 4,145 miles
Amazon (South America) – 4,050 miles
Mississippi-Missouri (USA) – 3,760 miles
Irtysh (Russia) – 3,200 miles
Yangtse (China) – 3,100 miles
Amur (Asia) – 2,900 miles
Congo (Africa) – 2,718 miles
Huang-Ho or Yellow (China) – 2,700 miles

Capitoline to the Aventine - hills of Rome

The Great Lakes from West to East:

Sam’s Horse Must Eat Oats

The Seven Hills of Rome:

Can Queen Victoria Eat Cold Apple Pie?
To remember the seven hills of Rome

and for those of us who might have to look that one up: they are:
the Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, Aventine, and the Palatine hills.

Roman numerals, too, in ascending order, for the classics scholar with a bad memory:

Lucky Cows Drink Milk

L = 50, C = 100, D = 500 and M = 1000.

And while on number, he had a mnemonic to help him remember the exact decimal value of Pi to the twentieth place! Counting the number of letters in each word of the sentence in order gives the value of Pi = 3.141592653 etc.

Sir, I send a rhyme excelling
In sacred truth and rigid spelling
Numerical sprites elucidate
For me the lexicon’s dull weight.

I prefer the simpler version of Pi to a mere seven places:

May I have a large container of coffee?

His wide reading brought him into much more esoteric branches of learning, which I won’t elaborate on – such things as Pythagorean theory, [a very non-pc version: ‘The Squaw on the Hippopotamus is equal to the sum of the Squaws on the other two Hides’] Lord Nelson’s injuries(!), remembering the names of world oceans and continents, and the date of the Wright Brothers’ first successful flight.

The Colours of the Rainbow are worth quoting:

Richard of York Gave Battle In Vain

which my mother (his daughter) abbreviated to the acronym: ROYGBIV.

Henry the Eighth’s six wives:

‘Divorced, beheaded, died;
Divorced, beheaded, survived.’

They were: Catherine of Aragon, Ann Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Kathryn Howard and Katherine Parr.

The Bayeux Tapestry recounts the Battle of Hastings

His greatest mnemonic was, for me, the poem of the succession of the Kings and Queens of England from William the Conqueror, 1066. Not the Scots, or Kings of Picts, mind you; something I wished for at the time and tried in later life to create a mnemonic for and failed miserably. [It is quite difficult to place King Dubh, Kings Aedh, Custantin, Fergus and King Nechtan into a rhyme!]

This one is still popular and while you have to remember another rhyme to insert each monarch into his/her houses, (Plantaganet, etc.), it has a ring to it:

Kings and Queens of England from 1066
Willy, Willy, Harry, Stee,
Harry, Dick, John, Harry Three;
One, two, three Neds, Richard Two,
Harries Four Five Six, then who?
Edwards Four Five, Richard Three,
Two Harries, Edward and Bloody Mairee;
Elizabeth the Virgin Queen
Two Jameses with Charlies in between

Coronation of Alexander III at Scone

[sometimes:
Mary, Bessie, James ye ken,
Then Charlie, Charlie, James again)

William and Mary, Anna Gloria
Four Georges, William and Victoria
Edward Seven next, and then
Came George the Fifth in nineteen ten
Ned the Eighth soon abdicated
Then George the Sixth was coronated
After which Elizabeth
And that’s all folks until her death.

The Royal Houses to which those monarchs belonged:

No Plan Like Yours
To Study HISTORY Wisely

(Norman (1066-), Plantaganet (1154-), Lancaster (1399-), York (1461), Tudor (1485-), Stuart (1603-), Hanover (1714-1901), Windsor (1901/1917-present))

Like Winston Churchill, whom he admired although a younger man, he could recite by heart: Greenleaf Whittier’s Ballad of Barbara Fritchie, a stirring epic from the American Civil War.

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.

It goes on for another thirty verses, but its most poignant couplet tells of an order from Stonewall Jackson himself:

‘Who touches a hair of thon gray head
Dies like a dog. March on,’ he said.

It is a fact that Winston Churchill, while visiting Frederick, Maryland in 1943, held up his own welcome party while he stood in front of the house where she is said to have waved the Union flag in Stonewall Jackson’s face; and recited the poem from beginning to end. It is not reported whether his hosts were particularly pleased by this recitation; but my grandfather was!

Of course the old minister would recite from every verse of ‘Remember, Remember the Fifth of November’, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Wreck of the Hesperus and he was particularly fond of ‘Peter, Andrew, James and John, Hold the Horse while I get on’ -a mnemonic for the first four of the 12 disciples.

With such a mentor, is it any wonder that my education was, to say the least, eclectic?

I don’t have to repeat the mnemonic for the months of the year because I think that is one rhyme which has filtered down through oral tradition into the consciousness of now. [Unless someone really doesn’t know and writes me a comment/request to that effect!]

However I think my grandfather would have loved to hear a hurricane rhyme which I learned in the Bahamas in the early ‘sixties: in these times of changing world climate and strange seasons, it is reassuring to find the hurricane season stays (roughly) the same…

Hurricane Season
‘June, too soon;
July, stand by;
August come it must;
September, remember;
October, all over.’

My grandfather had ways of remembering the Arabic names of stars and constellations, too, but I think we’ve covered enough ground for one festive blog. Those gems will have to wait for another time.

Happy solstice.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | ancient rites, culture, history, popular, seasonal | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments